Daylilies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

We’ve watched these daylilies at Raccoon Creek State Park for more than a decade. They are planted strategically around the circa 1880’s (?) farmhouse in the Park. Those flower buds appear, enlarge and then anticipation. Day after day they signal soon, soon, soon. Then one day, boom! the first ones open, here and there.

Bombus pennsylvanicus (American bumblebees) love them, visiting regularly. Ruby throateds come too. Butterflies? Tiger swallowtails await these blooms, and nectar on them, as do Great spangled fritillaries and occasional others.

Yes, they were planted by people. But they’ve been there for more than a decade, perhaps much more than that. They stand witness to lots of stuff going on in the Park maybe the passing through of a rare Ursus americanus, or the silent prowl of a bobcat, the night howls of coyotes, and also, to the extraordinary animal that I saw one day in the Wildflower Reserve or the long-tailed cat (perhaps 40-50 pounds in weight) that I once saw on the Wetland Trail, not too far away.

We’ll be putting in our perrenial garden in October, and daylilies are on my List.


Closed (Bottle) Gentian Wildflower

Closed Gentian Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Rector, PA

It’s August in Rector, Pennsylvania and I am just several miles away from Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Falling Water.  I am about 10 feet from a small pond, and found here this extraordinary wetland wildflower.

Gentiana Andrewsii peeked my curiosity when I feet saw it. Why are these flowers so tightly closed, with a small opening only at the tip of the flower? How does this dark bluish purple flower attract pollinators? Which flying insects have entered into eternal contract with this closed gentian, translated as “You feed me and I’ll pollinate you!”

Truth be told I have not spent hours observing the comings and goings here, but I have seen a number of American bumblebees (Bombus Pennsylvanicus). 

Is this the optimum time to make a personal observation? Over these last 2 years, I have sought to coax out serious responses from those of you out there who are extensively well-backgrounded in this general area. Such responses would benefit all, and advance our goal, to encourage broader interest and attention to the success of butterfly populations here and abroad. For instance, here is this post of closed Gentian. Wouldn’t it be great if we drew input from naturalists and biologists and other -ists who are long familiar with it? We have had much less success with that then my readers would think, even with organizations that I belong to. If I had found dozens of blogs like I wouldn’t have launched it. To my knowledge this is one of a small circle.